View Full Version : Mac Mini G4 Boot Problem

Apr 5, 2009, 02:25 AM
I have a Mac Mini G4. It will no longer boot off it's internal drive. I would like to boot it off an external USB drive.

Whenever I hold "Option" while it boots, instead of taking me to a boot loader it takes me to the Open Firmware thing.

How do I tell it to boot off the external drive? The external drive is formatted with the Apple Boot Partition (for PPC) so I think that is fine.

Apr 5, 2009, 07:10 AM
I didn't think you could boot off a usb drive. I thought it had to be firewire. I boot my G4 mini off a firewire drive and it works fine.

Apr 5, 2009, 08:57 AM
Yeah, I think it needs to be firewire. At least that's what I've been told

Apr 5, 2009, 09:42 PM
PPC Macs won't boot from a USB device(I did hear about one exception though where someone was able to boot from a USB thumbdrive on their G3).

Do you have a Firewire hard drive that you can boot from? Otherwise you're going to have to remove the old dead drive and replace it with a newer one. There's a 320gb 5400RPM drive that will work in the G4s. It has to be a PATA drive as the newer SATA drives won't work in the G4 Minis.

Have you tried to boot from your CD to see if your drive really is dead?

Apr 6, 2009, 12:21 AM
All G4 Macs and later are USB bootable - though 10.4.3 is the first version of Mac OS X that is USB bootable.

See the following for how to boot USB drives from open firmware: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20060301112336384

A couple of comments seem to indicate that while G4 Macs are generally USB bootable (ironically the USB 1 machines may be the easiest to boot), it looks like a problems for G5 towers, but not G5 iMacs. YMMV.